Better Health Through Better Sleep

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Taught by Ross Levin

Dr. Ross Levin is a behavioral sleep specialist and Cognitive Behavior therapist in independent practice in New York City with a specialty in stress management and treating insomnia, disturbed dreaming and anxiety disorders.  Dr. Levin earned his doctoral degree in clinical psychology in 1987 from the State University of New York at Buffalo and was a university professor for over 20 years.  Dr. Levin has published over 75 empirical papers on sleep, dreaming, and consciousness in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals. His primary scientific work has been in dreaming and nightmares and his published model on the neurocognitive basis of dreaming and nightmares has been well received in scientific circles and has been featured in numerous media including The New York Times Science Times, ABC Nightline, NPR On Point, The New Yorker Magazine, Fox News, Time Magazine and most recently, CBS Sunday Morning News.

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Sleep issues are rampant in today’s culture. On any given night, 20% of Americans use sleep aides, and Americans spend over $100 billion on sleep related products each year. Further, the societal costs of disturbed sleep are staggering. Disturbed sleep is a frontline and common response to stress and our frenetic 24/7 wired culture with over 50% of all adults reporting periodic sleep difficulties. Sleep issues are also often at the heart of marital discord and are associated with poor health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, obesity and memory loss.

In this talk, I will discuss exactly what sleep is, what function it has and how good sleep enhances health and wellness. Last, I will discuss the basics of behavioral sleep medicine including an overview of adequate sleep hygiene practices. Evidence-based treatments for common sleep disorders such as insomnia, hypersomnia (daytime sleepiness) and disturbed dreams will be introduced with a particular focus on CBT-I, imagery tools, relaxation-based techniques and mindfulness meditation.

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